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USQ event cross-examines the history of law

Law students reaped the rewards as two great minds of the world’s legal procession met in Toowoomba yesterday

Retired High Court of Australia judge Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and renowned Oxford University historian Professor Paul Brand were in the Garden City to speak at a USQ colloquium, ‘The past is prologue: The impact of law’s history’.

Mr Kirby, Australia’s longest serving judge when he retired from the High Court in 2009, discussed the “strange and tragic death” of Legal History in Australian Law Schools, while Professor Brand gave the keynote address on married women in English medieval royal courts.

The one-day colloquium, organised by USQ’s School of Law and Justice, also featured speakers from USQ, Deakin University, Notre Dame and Bond University.

It focused on legal history as it had shaped the modern world, from individual judges and lawyers to decisions and new laws.

Student Timothy Randall, in his fourth year and soon to enter the legal profession, said the prestigious presenters were a major drawcard.

“Mr Kirby is a big name and very popular among the students, particularly because of his dissenting judgments and interesting side points in his arguments,” Mr Randall said.

“I found the topics fascinating and have expanded my knowledge of the legal profession.

“It’s great to have the chance to meet people like former high court judges and professors from Oxford – it’s a special and rare networking opportunity.”

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